Bathroom Exhaust Fan Buying Guide & Reviews
Thanks for taking the time to read our reviews on the best bathroom exhaust fans that are currently available on the market. A bathroom exhaust fan is a useful and sometimes important bathroom device. In fact many air specialist experts state that every bathroom should have one of these fitted.
The reason for this is that it helps to clear away excess moisture in the air, that can damage paint or loosen tiles. A bathroom fan can also rid your bathroom of bad smells (if you know what we mean) and decrease the humidity in the air.
The key benefits of owning a bathroom exhaust fan we have listed below:
- Diverting unpleasant odors and help with the removal of humid air
- Creates a more pleasant temperature
- Delivers ventilation for a room that may have no windows
- Prevent water dripping on the paint
- Protects any wooden furniture in the room
A well-functioning exhaust fan properly fitted in the bathroom can quickly remove odors. Now although that is a very good benefit, the key purpose is to decrease the humidity that can cause dangerous mold and mildew, which prevents costly repairs down the line.
In this article we will be having a look at the best bathroom exhaust fans available in the market right now. There are certainly a good number of options available. These include some well known brand names like Panasonic, Delta and Broan.
If you have one fitted and it starts to run loudly, you can bet dust and debris has accumulated, and then it should be cleaned or replaced
These do vary in price a lot from around $60 all the way up to $200 depending on the exact type of fan that you want to put into your home. A good average price is around $100.
Top 10 Bath Exhaust Fans by Buyer Rating
Just below we have listed the top 10 bath exhaust fans according to online buyers. Beside each product name, you will see a percentage number. That number is the average online buyer satisfaction score, marked out of 100%.
- Broan-NuTone AE110 Invent Energy Star Qualified Single-Speed Ventilation Fan (94%)
- Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense Ventilation Fan (94%)
- Broan-NuTone 678 Exhaust Ventilation Fan and Light Combination (92%)
- Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFitEZ Fan (92%)
- Broan-NuTone AE110LK Flex Bathroom Exhaust Ventilation Fan (90%)
- Delta BreezSignature VFB25AEH 130 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan (88%)
- Air King BFQ 140 High Performance Bath Fan (86%)
- Broan-NuTone AER110RGBL ChromaComfort 110 CFM Ventilation Fan (86%)
- BV Ultra-Quiet 90 CFM, 0.8 Sone Bathroom Ventilation & Exhaust Fan (86%)
- Hunter 81030 Halcyon Bathroom Exhaust Fan (84%)
Our Top Rated Bath Exhaust Fans
Broan-NuTone AE110 Invent Energy Star Qualified Single-Speed Ventilation Fan
This is a quiet, energy efficient exhaust fan with 110 CFM and 1.0 Sones to help control air quality. It is suitable for rooms (including bathroom) up to 105 square feet and has a 4 inch duct diameter.
It is easy to install as a new or a replacement for an existing fan and comes with retrofit installations that can be done entirely from the room-side – no attic access required.
It uses TrueSeal Damper Technology, that reduce air leakage by up to 50% . It is suitable for use over tubs and showers with a GFCI circuit so you can capture the steam before it spreads throughout the room..
Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense Ventilation Fan
This is a very popular choice for many online buyers. This is a very quiet, easy to install and long lasting bath exhaust fan. It also has motion and humidity sensors. At less than 0.3 sones, this fan operates as quiet as a whisper. It comes with a 6-year warranty on motor and 3-year warranty on parts.
This model works with 4" and 6" ducts for flexibility in duct layout and design. It also has a Flex-Z Fast installation bracket is ideal for positioning the fan exactly where you want it.
The fan complies with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, CALGreen, California Title 24, Washington VIAQ codes and standards.
Broan-NuTone 678 Exhaust Ventilation Fan and Light Combination
This is an exhaust fan and light combination that helps reduce moisture, odors, and mildew. It is ideal for rooms (including bathroom) up to 45 sq. ft.. The lighting is done by using a bright 100-watt lighting capacity with a shatter-resistant light diffusing lens.
It is easy to install as new or to retro fit as a replacement. It comes with polymeric duct connectors with tapered sleeves for easy, positive ducting and has a plug-in, permanently lubricated motor.
It is UL listed for use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI-protected branch circuit. The Type IC (Insulation Contact) unit features an efficient polymeric fan impeller to ensure quality use
Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFitEZ Fan
This fan is ideal for residential remodeling and renovations. This fan has a low Profile with a 5-5/8-inch housing depth that fits in a 2 x 6 construction. You can pick the airflow from 80 or 110 CFM
It comes with a flex-Z Fast bracket for easy, fast and trouble-free installation and is energy star rated.
Bath Exhaust Fan Buyer's Guide
These fans are usually fitted on the ceiling and are then connected via a port to the duct work which eventually ends up outside your home. Where it leaves the home is called the exhaust which gives these fans their name.
A popular way is to exhaust through the roof, though some people prefer the soffit as it is less noticeable. These usually need some type of vent kit to hold that in place and attached to the duct.
Some people also use the gable to exhaust the fumes and in most cases people need to decide which is the most suitable method for them.
There is a useful video below that shows you the advantages of using one of these fans and how it can help protect your bathroom as well.
Below I have completed a quick buying guide and below that is a Top 10 Comparison Table of the best bathroom exhaust fans available right now. Underneath that I have completed a short review on each of those.
Ceiling or Gable Mounted
These bath exhaust fans can either be fitted into the ceiling or into the wall. You can only fit them into the wall if the wall is exterior. If it is an internal wall, you will need to provide duct from the internal wall to an external wall.
I would recommend that you go out through the ceiling as that is just the easiest and most effective method
The most common method of wiring is to have an electrician hard wire these into the main supply for the home. You can do this yourself if you believe that you are competent.
Many of the newer fans come with lights and I think they are ideal for a bathroom. The light helps disguise the fan and also makes the unit look a lot more attractive. It is also just a more practical solution in my opinion.
Some fans also come with heaters and that is also a good idea especially if you have chilly winters. They are also great if you are one of those people who does not like to get goose bumps when you step out of the shower.
Some of the better ones also have a built in humidity control sensors which measures the ideal humidity for the bathroom. It then kicks into operation automatically when the humidity rises outside the limits that you have pre-determined on your settings.
There are some bathroom exhaust fans available that allow you to have a few bathrooms all going through one central ducting fan. Essentially these are fitted in the roof space and then use ducts to reach the different bathrooms.
You do need to know what you are doing if you decide on that option. They work well, are very quiet but need proper fitting.
Noise Level (Sones)
When buying a fan always check out the zones marking. The higher this number is then the louder the fan.
For example a Sone 2 is considered quiet, whereas a Sone 4 is considered loud.
Clearing Ability (CFM)
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and is what the fan can remove in terms of the amount of air. That is known as air flow. The larger the room the more airflow you will need.
- 50-60 CFM is Low (Something like a powder room)
- 70-90 CFM is Medium (Something like a medium sized bath)
- 100+ CFM is High (For a large or main bath)
This is probably the most important one to consider and a simple way to understand this, is the higher the CFM rating the better it will clear the bathroom.
When considering installing one of these we would recommend getting it done professionally unless you are a competent DIY person. If you decide to go ahead then you should read the instructions carefully and also follow them to the letter.
Careless work or work that is done incorrectly can cause fires and is just not worth the risk.
Replacing a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Most people will simply want to replace an old noisy fan or replace one that has simply stopped working. That is always an easier job as the ducting is usually in place and should not need replaced, though that is always worth checking.
The fans that I have reviewed below can be used for new installation or for replacement.
How To Install A Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Here is a really good video on how to install an exhaust fan into your bathroom.